FlyAirPair : Match Airline Travelers As Seat Mates
Well, on the surface it sounded like a great idea, a social travel company that would match airline travelers as seat mates, based upon their interests.
In 2011 the two founders of FlyAirPair, Mike Townsend and Chris Swasey launched their new start up at Tech Cocktail Los Angeles. Tech Cocktail creates events that are the perfect venue to meet and connect with potential new employees, developers, and designers. The event where FlyAirPair was launched was aimed at early stage startups to help them gain additional exposure in the Los Angeles area, as well as online at TechCocktail.com.
Working out of Coloft, Mike Townsend seemed to be in the center of tech startup hub of Los Angeles. He was either already or would go onto to become the founder of HomeHero, ZingCheckout (acq. BigCommerce), and Flowtab, (previously. INTJ ) a mobile ordering and payments system for bars and nightclubs. He also had experience as an engineering manager for a number of projects. In hindsight, it appears that Flowtab, which was launched about the same time as FlyAirFlow had more potential, although Flowtab ultimately shuttered its doors and the team scattered in 2013. Nevertheless, Townsend landed on his feet. He was offered a job at Science and worked on and then launched HomeHero in 2013. HomeHero is now, according to the website, the fastest, most-affordable way to find trusted, in-home care for seniors in CA.
Lots has happened, technologically on the WWW since this website first appeared. But it seems Mike Townsend has stayed right on trying out new ideas and finally finding a success with HomeHero. I was impressed with the motivation and drive of Mike Townsend. The guy is a real go getter. FlyAirPair wasn't the success he imagined. Flowtab lasted much longer and actually got of the ground, but its failure did not apparently lessen his enthusiasm for trying another and then another startup. I happen to work on the other side of the start-up idea/ concept person. I help build the dream/ idea after the initial concept is born. The moderately sized progressive software company I work for helps companies with Magento development services for their e-commerce sites. Because Magento is open source it has an almost overwhelming number of custom extensions and modules to choose from, businesses that use its CMS can become paralyzed. We help get a custom Magento website functioning smoothly and securely by developing a strategy for choosing and executing the right Magento customization. By the way, the CMS for this site is not Magento!
So What Happened to FlyAirPair ?
So what happened to FlyAirPair in all this flurry of startups, failures and successes? Looking at Mike Townsend’s LinkedIn, FlyAirPair is not even mentioned.
But apparently in 2011, Mike Townsend and his partner launched the social travel company Airpair with flyairpair.com as the website. They garnered some press for FlyAirPair promoting the new venture:
- on traveltips.usatoday.com with an article about What Can You Do in an Airplane for Fun?
- on thenextweb.com with an article about 6 Los Angeles Startups You Need To Know About,
- on http://tech.co with a 2011 article entitled: Make Air Travel Fun Again with Social Travel Site Airpair
How FlyAirPair Supposedly Would Work
Clients would give FlyAirPair his /her tentative travel itinerary before booking their flight. Once the pertinent information was entered, the web site or the FlyAirPair app would arrange connecting the client to other people who were also thinking about traveling at the same time and who he /she might find particularly interesting. Does this sound like an app you might use? Perhaps if you are a social being, or perhaps if you are hoping to meet a special person, the concept of FlyAirPair would appeal.
Certainly everyone has one or more stories about sitting next to the worst seatmate ever. The are loads of articles written about the subject. such as: The 7 Worst Seatmates Ever or 10 Signs You're the Worst Person on Your Flight.
But is trying to find a seat mate traveling on the same flight with two available seats next to each other seem reasonable? At this point, the concept behind FlyAirPair remains just that, a concept without any practical website or app that works. Who knows, perhaps in the future another entrepreneur will take a stab at the concept. But for now all that is available from FlyAirPair.com’s archived pages is this image.